• Derived from: coconut
  • Pronunciation: (\ˈkō-(ˌ)kōs\ NU-se-FER-a\)
  • Type: Natural
  • Other names: coconut oil

What Is Cocos Nucifera Oil?

Cocos nucifera oil is a clear or yellowish oil derived from coconuts, which grow on the cocos nucifera, or coconut palm tree. Coconut palms grow around the world in lowland tropical and subtropical areas.[1,2] Widely cultivated, healthy coconut palms produce 50 nuts per year, and the tree can be used to produce everything from food and drink to fibers, building materials, and natural ingredients.[3,4] For centuries, many cultures have used coconut oil for dietary and medicinal purposes.[5,6] The oil was and still is often used for cooking, moisturizing skin, and conditioning hair.[7] As a result, cocos nucifera oil is common in a wide variety of personal care products, including hair products, lotions, cosmetics, and others.[8,9]

What Does Cocos Nucifera Oil Do in Our Products?

Coconut oil helps bind moisture to the skin. It doesn’t dissolve in water and is stable at room temperature.[10,11]

Why Puracy Uses Cocos Nucifera Oil

We use cocos nucifera oil in its organic form in several of our products as a moisturizer. It has a long shelf life and a melting point of 76 degrees, which makes products applied to the body more spreadable.[16] Palm oil is a common alternative, but it is an endangered resource. Several studies have also deemed cocos nucifera oil helpful for healing burns, soothing very dry skin, and safe for use in cosmetics.[17,18,19] Whole Foods has deemed the ingredient acceptable in its body care quality standards.[20] People diagnosed with tree nut allergies often wonder about coconut. However, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review has deemed coconut oil nonirritating to the skin and non-sensitizing.[21] Further, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, “Coconut is not a botanical nut; it is classified as a fruit, even though the Food and Drug Administration recognizes coconut as a tree nut. While allergic reactions to coconut have been documented, most people who are allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut. If you are allergic to tree nuts, talk to your allergist before adding coconut to your diet.”[22]

How Cocos Nucifera Oil Is Made

The dried kernel of the coconut, called copra, contains about 60%-65% of the coconut oil. Different types of coconut oil exist, however. For example, virgin coconut oil is made from wet coconuts (unrefined grade). Coconut oil from dry coconuts (unrefined grade) and coconut oil by solvent extraction method (refined from coconut expeller cake) are others.[12,13] Crushing dried coconut with a wooden or stone mortar is one of the oldest methods of obtaining cocos nucifera oil; using mechanical screw press is another way. Larger processors also use hydraulic presses. Processors can also press the juice out of wet coconuts and then process it (conventionally via heat and centrifuge) to separate the milk and oil. Sometimes the coconut oil is then refined, bleached and deodorized. Using enzymes or solvents such as isopropanol are other methods for obtaining coconut oil, which they often require less electricity and can glean residual oil.[14,15]




[1] University of Florida IFAS Extension
[2] Cosmeticsinfo.org
[3] University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources
[4] U.S. National Plant Germplasm System
[5] Cosmeticsinfo.org
[6] Secretariat of the Pacific Community
[7] Secretariat of the Pacific Community
[8] Cosmetic Ingredient Review
[9] Cosmeticsinfo.org
[10] Gopala, K., et al. “Coconut Oil: Chemistry, Production and Its Applications - A Review,” Indian Coconut Journal, January 2010
[11] Cosmetic Ingredient Review
[12] Gopala, K., et al. “Coconut Oil: Chemistry, Production and Its Applications - A Review,” Indian Coconut Journal, January 2010
[13] Phillipine Coconut Authority
[14] Gopala, K., et al. “Coconut Oil: Chemistry, Production and Its Applications - A Review,” Indian Coconut Journal, January 2010
[15] Secretariat of the Pacific Community
[16] Gopala, K., et al. “Coconut Oil: Chemistry, Production and Its Applications - A Review,” Indian Coconut Journal, January 2010
[17] Burnett, C.L., et al., “Final report on the safety assessment of Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil and related ingredients,” International Journal of Toxicology, 2011 May; 30(3 Suppl.):5S-16S
[18] Agero, A.L. and Verallo-Rowell, V.M., “A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis,” Dermatitis, 2004 Sep; 15(3):109-16
[19] Srivastava, P. and Durgaprasad, S., “Burn wound healing property of Cocos nucifera: An appraisal,” Indian Journal of Pharmacology, 008 Aug; 40(4): 144–146
[20] Whole Foods Market
[21] Cosmetic Ingredient Review
[22] American Cleaning Institute

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